Monday, September 9, 2013

No-Cry Discipline Solution Review

I recently finished reading a wonderful book entitled "No-Cry Discipline Solution," by author Elizabeth Pantley.  Pantley is the author of a series of "No-Cry" parenting solution books and I was incredibly excited to read her book on discipline.  I am the parent of a 6-month old and a very independent 3-year-old


Pantley begins this book by reassuring the reader.  She reiterates that it's impossible to be the perfect parent.  She says that if you have the correct parenting response 70% of the time then you're doing an amazing job.  She also clears up a misconception: "No-Cry Discipline" does not mean your child will never cry: your child will get angry and cry if he can't have everything he wants. The goal is not to keep your child from crying, the goal is to avoid crying so that your child can hear you and you can teach him a life lesson.  Teaching is the main point of disciplining.


Pantley moves right into giving the reader tools to address disciplining issues.  She points out that not every strategy will work for every child.  However, she provides twenty-four different ideas for dealing with misbehavior: one is bound to work for your situation.  One of the suggestions that worked well for us was "Make it talk." In this strategy, you use a bit of playful fun to redirect your child into having a positive behavior.  One evening our daughter was in a bad mood and was not cooperating.  She got her blanket and pillow pet, and was lying in the middle of the kitchen floor while everyone else was eating dinner.  Instead of lecturing her, I pretended my hand was a puppet and began tickling her pillow pet while asking, "Does Lambie want to get his ear tickled?  What about his nose?"  Soon, my daughter was giggling and was ready to come back up to the table to eat her dinner. This example of misbehavior was the result of my daughter being overtired.  In the No-Cry Discipline Solution, Pantley instructs the reader to uncovering the real reason of the misbehavior.  Once we identify why our children are misbehaving, we may be able to help prevent the misbehavior.


In another section, Pantley addresses the issue of parent anger.  She fully acknowledges that you're going to get angry at your children.  The key is to manage your anger so that you are in control of your emotions.  An angry parent can make a child's behavior even worse.  One tip she suggests is to take a moment away from your child if you feel you are becoming too angry to deal with the situation.  I thought back to a moment during my maternity leave when the baby was crying and my 3-year-old was having a fit.  I recall saying, "Mommy needs to go have a time-out!" I unknowingly used one of the coping mechanisms described in this book, and I took a moment to collect my emotions.


If you need a quick-fix for a situational behavior problem, Pantley has a solution for you.  The back of the book is filled with quick reference guides for situations when your child won't take bath or misbehaves in public. Although I really recommend reading the entire book, these reference sections are great reminders when you are struggling with a particular behavior or situation.  The quick reference guides also incorporate the parenting strategies you'll learn about in the first section of the book and ties everything together.  If I had to summarize this book in one sentence I would say, "You'll learn strategies to avoid melt-downs (from your child and yourself), identify the real cause of your child's misbehavior, and develop positive ways to teach your child life lessons."
 
I really enjoyed reading the No-Cry Discipline solution, and I know this is a book I'll be referencing often.  Pantley's tips helped rebuild the strained relationship I had with my 3-year-old child.  The birth of her brother was very hard on her, and I realized that much of her misbehavior was a result of me not taking the time to show her how much I care about her. Once I started providing frequent hugs and special attention, she was more cooperative and wanted my help again.  When my husband asked why she wanted her Mommy, she replied "Because I love her."  I know we have even more room to grow and improve in our parenting as we try more of Pantley's tips for No-Cry Discipline.

Elizabeth Pantley contacted us and provided this book for the purpose of this review.  I was under no obligation to provide a positive review.

9 comments:

  1. I have never read 'The No-Cry Discipline Solution.' However, my belief is that staying positive is the best method. When my daughter is misbehaving, I try to tell her what she can do instead of focusing on what she can't or shouldn't.

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    1. Exactly! That was a point mentioned in this book. We spend a lot of time telling our kids not to do this or that, but we forget that they don't have the maturity to focus on what they should be doing. I use that strategy more often with my daughter now and she responds well to it.

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  2. I am a huge fan of Elizabeth Pantley and have multiple copies of her books. I read them again with each child and always glean information each time. Thanks for your review. I am excited to read this one next!

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  3. "She says that if you have the correct parenting response 70% of the time then you're doing an amazing job." I love this. I think that we, as parents, are too hard on ourselves and aren't as forgiving as we should be. I know that I need to work on how I respond to my little guy when he 'misbehaves', and this book may just be the help that I need - thanks for the review!

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  4. Great review! This will come in handy for my twins who are about to turn the corner into toddlerhood.

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  5. Sounds like a great read- I have an almost 3 year old who has been testing his limits lately and it's hard to know what the right response is sometimes.

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  6. Sounds like a good read - I'm a fan of doing whatever works for discipline, and this sounds like it will give me more options to choose from in the mommy-arsenal of discipline!

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  7. Sounds like a good read. It's great to have many tools in the toolbox when it comes to dealing with difficult situations with kids. However, I'd be careful of relying too heavily on any one "trick," especially ones like "Make it talk." Sometimes misbehavior certainly comes from overtired children, or we need a quick fix (company is over, etc). But sometimes there is a real emotional reason behind how the child is acting, and using fun to redirect, while effective, doesn't get at the real reason behind what is going on. My mother used tricks like this on me a lot when I was a child, making me laugh or being silly, but I don't feel that I was ever taught how to read my own emotions and understand the complexities of what I was feeling. It was more about avoidance and how to get a quick fix. I think it's important to help a child develop an emotional intelligence. That said, I'm sure Pantley includes many other possible solutions that get at the reason for a child's behavior. I've read other books of hers and I usually like her approach.

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    1. Carly, I totally agree with you! The book really strives to help you identify the bigger reason behind the misbehavior. I also liked that Pantley says emotions are OK- they are good! As adults, don't we become frustrated, emotional, and sometimes have mini-tantrums of our own? We are better able to handle our emotions, but that doesn't mean we are always stoic. I'm still working on ways to help our daughter express emotions appropriately. She often throws her stuffed animals to help release frustration- it doesn't damage anything, but there are better ways (breathing, talking through her problems) which we are working on. She's only three, so we have some time to work on anger management skills.

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